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  1. #1
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    My wife takes her external hard drive to school as a teacher. There have been times that she has left the hard drive inadvertently on her desk - allowing students to potentially to gain access.
    My question is: Is there a procedure or free software that allows any external hard drive/USB flash drive to be password protected or encryped?

    Bruno.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    encryption is probably your best bet.
    Examples:
    T r u e C r y p t
    AxCrypt File Encryption for Windows
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Bruno,

    Another good encryption choice is 2BrightSparks Encrypt On Click Freeware. This encryption software allows you to encrypt selected folders. But If you want to encrypt the whole external drive, or a large chunk of it, the ones Clint suggested would be better.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  4. #4
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    Thank you Clint.

    I have downloaded TrueCrypt and the associated 150 pages of confusing information.
    There appears to be a distinct possibility that things can go awfully wrong in determining which part of the program to use.
    We have been using U3 USB flash drives for years and that system with its password logon works fine for us.

    What we would like is a similar password logon for our external hard drives. I suppose what I am asking you is for you to "hold my hand" and write me out a simple "step type format" on what to do, as the 150 pages are far too complex for my deminishing neurones. I went throught this "mounting" and "dismounting" drama in '94-'95 when working in a school with multiples servers, and honestly I can do without the complexity.

    The external hard drives do NOT contain the OS, only personal data files.

    Please see what you can write up for us.

    Bruno

  5. #5
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    George's PC Specs. / Laptop. Desktop.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    The Beginner's Tutorial is a good place to start.

    Videos for truecrypt tutorial

    Videos for truecrypt tutorial+external usb drive





    Edited out prior tutorial; Incomplete.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  7. #7
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    Dear Clint

    OK, I printed the 15 points written above and found that: (a) there was no Next button after point 13 (moving the mouse), it asked if I would like to Format the device, (b) it would seem that the device must not contain data, as all data will be wiped during the encryption process.

    I have no issue with backing up (we have multiple backups), but I would like to be sure of my facts before I continue with "mission critical" procedures.

    Therefore it appears that our 80 GB of data must be backed up first before I can encrypt the device - is this assumption correct?


    Roderunner: I don't understand your URL - it appears unrelated to my question.

    Bruno.

  8. #8
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    Roderunner: I don't understand your URL - it appears unrelated to my question.

    Bruno.
    Bruno, maybe this expanded url will explain better. http://www.freecom.com/ecproduct_det...sCatID=1149134
    George's PC Specs. / Laptop. Desktop.

  9. #9
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    All of this protection will not prevent any one from accessing the data, if the device is left plugged in, user account logged in and sitting there waiting for someone to access it it.

    You will find that the simplest would be to use a "Passworded" screensaver. This way, the password would always be required.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  10. #10
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere View Post
    encryption is probably your best bet.
    Examples:
    T r u e C r y p t
    AxCrypt File Encryption for Windows
    Do both of these need to have the program installed on every computer used to view the encrypted drive ?

  11. #11
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    TrueCrypt will overwrite any existing data on the drive, so have uptodate backups handy.

    You realy do need to look through these tutorial yourself and learn how to do this. It is not rocket science.

    Some other worthwhile articles and tutorials on TrueCript:

    **** Official TrueCrypt Forum

    **** Ghacks.net: Securing your Pc with True Crypt

    Creating a TrueCrypt Encrypted Disk Image

    Ultimate TrueCrypt Guide : Create And Mount Virtual Encrpyted Partitions
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    For Gfamily:
    Portable Mode
    TrueCrypt can run in so-called portable mode, which means that it does not have to be installed on the operating system under which it is run. However, there are two things to keep in mind:

    •You need administrator privileges in order to able to run TrueCrypt in portable mode (for the reasons, see the chapter Using TrueCrypt Without Administrator Privileges).

    Note: No matter what kind of software you use, as regards personal privacy in most cases, it is not safe to work with sensitive data under systems where you do not have administrator privileges, as the administrator can easily capture and copy your sensitive data, including passwords and keys.


    •After examining the registry file, it may be possible to tell that TrueCrypt was run (and that a TrueCrypt volume was mounted) on a Windows system even if it had been run in portable mode.
    http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/


    TrueCrypt can be used with almost any os on almost any computer, but you must be the admin of the computer or else you will potentially open yourself to an admin that is "not so trustworthy".

    If the user is has trueCrypt and running the external drive off his or her laptop then they are perfectly safe as long as the laptop is not left open and running. In this instance DaveA's advice on password protecting the screensaver would be valid.


    Password protecting the screensaver alone, without encryption, would not stop someone from walking away with the external drive and easily accessing it through another computer.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Perhaps a simpler solution:

    How to Password Protect an External USB Hard Drive
    By CharlesDovbish, eHow Contributor
    updated: July 27, 2010


    External hard drives make it possible to mobilize large files like movies, music or software programs. Although external hard drives can be convenient, there is always a chance they could be lost or stolen. When your external hard drive goes missing, any documents or programs you have on the hard drive could be in serious jeopardy. Securing your external hard drive with a password will protect all of your files and programs from falling into the wrong hands.

    •1
    Plug your external hard drive into your computer through a USB port.

    •2
    Click the "Start" menu on the left-hand side of your computer screen and choose the "My Computer" icon from the right-hand side of the menu.

    •3
    Find your external hard drive's icon in the "My Computer" window. Double click on the icon.

    •4
    Right click on a blank area in the external hard drive's window. Choose the "New Folder" option from the gray menu that pops up. Label your new folder with a name appropriate to your external hard drive.

    •5
    Highlight all of your hard drive's windows and programs and drag them into the new folder you created.

    •6
    Right click on the folder and choose the option that reads "Properties." Scroll over to the "Sharing" option. Click the little box labeled "Make This Folder Private."

    •7
    Click on the "Ok" tab to apply the changes. Double click on the folder and enter your Windows Login password when prompted to gain access to the folder and all of the files inside.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  14. #14
    5 Star Lounger
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    Clint,

    I think you know this but it bears pointing out that the method you describe in your post #13 does not encrypt (Unless you are using bitlocker) the drive. Anybody that plugs that drive into a windows computer on which they have administrator rights can browse the drive......

    TrueCrypt and like programs are still the only secure way to protect it. Yes, they are a bit of a pain but you always have to do a risk assessment and balance security and usability...

  15. #15
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercyh View Post
    Clint,

    I think you know this but it bears pointing out that the method you describe in your post #13 does not encrypt (Unless you are using bitlocker) the drive. Anybody that plugs that drive into a windows computer on which they have administrator rights can browse the drive......

    TrueCrypt and like programs are still the only secure way to protect it. Yes, they are a bit of a pain but you always have to do a risk assessment and balance security and usability...
    Yes, that's true...
    But the OP may not be up to installing & using TrueCrypt.
    He needs to go over and read through the tutorials himself carefully, after all it's his/her computer and equipment.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

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